November 26, 2022

An Australian team, a New Zealand chassis and an American driver.

These three ingredients combine to create the perfect formula for Carson Macedo’s first USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship win Tuesday night at California’s Merced Speedway.

Macedo had a full USAC National Midgets season in 2016, during which he won Rookie of the Year honors. That same season, the Lemoore, California native also clinched a USAC Midwest Regional Midget title.

For this year’s leading feature winner on the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Tour, he had long eluded a feature win in the USAC National Midget.

It all finally came to fruition on his 37th career USAC National Midget start on Tuesday as he sped to the lead from his fifth starting position on lap 11 before tackling his Dyson Motorsport/Complete Parts & Equipment – ​​Tarlton & Son celebrated their first series win – Reich/König/Speedway Toyota.

“I’ve won World of Outlaw races, All-Star races and things like that, but I had never won a USAC National Midget race. I told (car owner) Sean Dyson last year when we raced together that I’d like to win one of these. It’s something I really wanted to cross off my bucket list.”

Macedo became the third first-time feature winner this season, joining Jacob Denney and Mitchel Moles in that category.

At the start of the California swing in November, luck was a mythical spirit for Macedo, who was involved in a crash during heats that forced him to miss the main start a week ago at Bakersfield Speedway, followed by increasingly improved runs from the 22nd to 10th and 4th over three nights at Placerville, a significant improvement over the eight day span.

“Sean accepted this midget deal very quickly,” Macedo explained. “He’s my crew chief on this deal. Justin (Insley) works on Spencer (Bayston’s) car. They exchange ideas and just do an amazing job. I think the driver just had to get a little bit better. I drive winged sprint cars year round so when I get in these things I tend to drive them too straight or make mistakes that others might not make like Buddy (Kofoid) who is on and off that night drives and does an extremely good job.”

The win came on a night when Macedo was practically perfect in feature time. Just before the Midget Main, Macedo scored a hard-fought win with the Kings of Thunder Winged 360 Sprint Cars.

While Macedo started his 30-lap midget journey from the third row, front-row starter and USAC Western States Midget regular Jake Andreotti made hay outside to choke polesitter Chance Crum by sheer fee at the line at the end of both laps one and two.

Crum took the baton from Andreotti on lap three as he slid up and occupied Andreotti’s groove on the top line between turns one and two. During an insane opening handful of laps, Grant then sped past Andreotti at the end of turn two for second place on lap four, then repeated the exact same maneuver a lap later to snap the lead away from Crum.

Over, under, sideways, down. Macedo made sure everything worked on a restart on lap nine, as he sped around the outside of Andreotti on the exit of turn four for fourth, then darted between the two on turns one and two to snatch second from Crum . Then Macedo hit the high side like a wind-up toy, steadily building his momentum for a lap and a half before steaming a path around the outside of Grant to secure the 11th-lap race lead.

As Macedo began to strengthen his command by slipping to an almost full lead off the bat, Buddy Kofoid began to exert his power after overcoming a 14th start in the 23-car field. First, at Turn 3, Kofoid split the difference between Crum and Andreotti to go from fifth to third in one shot at halftime.

Kofoid attempted his initial slide on lap 22 on Grant at turns one and two to no avail as Grant crossed him to contest the action with his own reaction. Immediately, Kofoid reloaded, driving him deep into Turn 3 and securing position as the two rounded Turn 4 and headed home.

Macedo appeared to have the race in the bag after taking the white flag while holding an almost insurmountable 2.494s advantage over Kofoid. However, Daison Pursley (12th) came to a halt on the other side of turn two to emphasize caution, concentrating the field for a green and white checkered restart with Kofoid right on Macedo’s rear bumper in a nitty-dark time .

“I didn’t want that warning to come out,” Macedo admitted. “I looked up (at the scoreboard) and saw that the 67 was behind me. I knew I had to pull off a good restart, and I knew he was probably going to throw a flyer. If it were me and I finished second, I would probably do the same. I was already thinking about what he was going to do but I was able to put in a pretty good run out of four and made it through turn one pretty well and I thought after that it would be harder to catch me.”

Macedo remained relatively unmolested in the final few rides around the 1/4 mile dirt oval and was able to quell any attempt to steal his long-awaited first USAC National Midget win by a margin of 1.123 seconds over Kofoid, Grant, and Crum Logan Seavey.

Andreotti initially finished with a best third place finish of his career, but his car failed after the post-race technical inspection and he was deemed ‘disqualified’ for the event.

After Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.) shot down the feature, the 2022 USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship was officially his and claimed his second straight title with two races remaining after finishing in one of his most impressive rides of the year with a 14th 2nd place secured his seventh consecutive podium with the series in his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Mobil 1 – Toyota – TRD/Bullet By Spike/Speedway Toyota.

“I got into third place very quickly and was feeling extremely good, but I wasn’t expecting to be up there so quickly,” admitted Kofoid. “I could go where I wanted and I could do so much more speed in the middle. As the track started to take rubber I knew we had an SP2 (compound tire) so when I was third I sort of backed away then caught Justin and passed him. I could see Carson and stayed with him, but I backpedaled because I didn’t know how much we had left and I could feel it slipping away, so I tried to tighten my car up a bit. I accidentally ran into the front bulkhead but I think we lost some tires trying to go forward and there just wasn’t much left.”

Last year’s USAC National Midget Merced Speedway opening night Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) led six laps to finish as the last member on the podium of the night after disqualifying Andreotti. It was Grant’s second consecutive third place finish after a similar result in his last outing at Placerville’s Hangtown 100 last Saturday night in his RMS Racing/NOS Energy Drink – EnviroFab – Response Management Services/Spike/Speedway Toyota.

According to a Facebook report posted by his father late Tuesday night, Blake Bower (Brentwood, Calif.) suffered a fractured left arm and left kneecap after his direct back incident and rollover during the first run.


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